A few weeks ago I was able to ask an old classmate some questions about her new life as a content marketer. Hilary Pemberton was a student-athlete for the University of Norther Colorado Women’s Tennis Team and marketing major at the Monfort College of Business. After graduating in 2016, she began her work as a freelance writer and blogger. Her tennis career highlight was winning 107 matches as a Division I athlete. Her experiences on the court and in the classroom prepared her for a career in content marketing. She now writes on her blog Love Is An Adventure about her biggest passion, love.
Baile: Can you give me a summary of your tennis career?
Hilary: I started my tennis career 3 and I started at UNC as a freshman. I came to UNC not just for the tennis team but because I loved the business school. During my four years, I found my home at Kepner [Monfrot College of Business] and I really think that was one of the most enjoyable parts of my time at school.
Baile: How did the day-to-day schedule of a student-athlete prepare you for the business world?
Hilary: Being an athlete teaches you a lot about time management, prioritizing, and dealing with limited free time. After graduation, life doesn’t slow down. There’s always something to do and there are goals that You are constantly working for. Being an athlete helped me realize I can handle stress and succeed under pressure.
Baile: How did you balance your studies and practice schedule?
Hilary: I’m a big list-maker. I’m always writing down my schedule and the Things I need to get done. This helps me prioritize and plan out how I’ll spend my time each day. If you’re organized and have a plan, you can fit everything in!
Baile: What is your favorite type of marketing?
Hilary: I love content marketing because it has allowed me to pursue my passion in writing. Blogging has taken over and I absolutely love it!
Baile: How did you get started doing content marketing?
Hilary: Thanks to Denny McCorkle [UNC Marketing Professor], I was connected with a guest speaker, Valerie Morris who owns a content marketing company named Tintero Creative. Because of my writing skills, she gave me a job as a freelance writer and editor. It’s been a great experience.
Baile: What is it like to be a freelance content writer?
Hilary: It’s great to do what I enjoy and have an income on the side.
Love is an Adventure
Baile: Where did you get the idea for Love Is An Adventure?
Hilary: I’m a hopeless romantic and I always have been. In fact, this past January, I married my boyfriend of 5 years. (Also a graduate of UNC.) In high school, I used to write about relationships on Tumblr. It was a way to express my feelings. As I’ve grown, learned more about myself and my relationship, I’ve become known as the advice giver among my peers. I felt it was time to write about what I knew and was passionate about. The final push was that in our vows, Jeff and I both talked about all of the adventures we had taken together and how that had been such a part of our love story. And the idea just grew from there.
Baile: How have your connections from being a student-athlete helped you promote your blog?
Hilary: Connections, whether they’re in sports or anything else, are always helpful. The more people you know and the bigger your network is, the more exposure your work has.
Baile: What are some of your favorite blogs?
Hilary: I love Beating 50 Percent by Jeremy and Audrey Roloff. They give marriage advice and are so committed to beating the statistic that 50 percent of marriages end in divorce.
Baile: What advice would you give student-athletes for developing their careers?
Hilary: (Follow your passion, think outside the box, etc). Find your passion and find a way to work your passion into your career. I knew I wanted writing to be part of my career but before I could get paid, I had to take unpaid internships and put my stuff out there without incentive. But once I had a portfolio, people gave me a chance to be paid for what I loved.
Baile: If you had one thing to tell a student-athlete preparing for their future career what would it be?
Hilary: Being an athlete shows you that anything can be accomplished. If you can get through four years of competitive sports without breaking down, you’ve done something right. Sports are mentally and physically challenging. So far, that’s been the hardest four years of my life. But also the most rewarding.